Falklands vs Malvinas

12/03/2013

The people who live there call them the Falklands.

To the people of Argentina they’re Las malvinas and  they say the cold, wind swept islands in the South Atlantic are theirs.

The islanders have voted overwhelmingly to remain an overseas British territory.

Of 1,517 votes cast in the two-day referendum – on a turnout of more than 90% – 1,513 were in favour, while just three votes were against.

It follows pressure from Argentina over its claims to the islands, 31 years after the Falklands War with the UK.

The UK government welcomed the result and urged “all countries” to accept it and respect the islanders’ wishes.

The referendum had asked: “Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom?” . . .

Argentina still isn’t convinced.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has maintained that the Falkland islanders’ wishes are not relevant in what is a territorial issue.

Most Argentines regard the islands, which they call Las Malvinas, as Argentine and their recovery is enshrined in the national constitution.

Journalist Celina Andreassi, of the Argentina Independent, said: “The majority of people here agree with the official position that the issue is not about self-determination and it is not about whether the islanders consider themselves British or not – because obviously everyone knows that they do and that they are British.

“The issue for most people here is whether the territory is Argentine or British, not the people themselves.”

But the issue for the people who live there is that this is their home and has been for generations.


The Falklands vs Las Malvinas

02/04/2009

The British call them The Falklands, the Argentineans know then as Las Malvinas  and it’s 27 years ago today that Argentina invaded those bleak islands in the South Atlantic.

I was working in London at the time and watched the jingoistic response from several quarters, including much of the media ,with a mixture of fascination and horror.

At first there was almost a sense of celebration, some people even started organising sing alongs to revive the hits of World War II.

The mood was more sombre once the dead and wounded started returning and friends in Argentina have told me of the sadness there as they watched young lives lost and many soldiers maimed by dreadful injuries.

I don’t pretend to understand the history and politics. But a friend who shore on the Falklands for several years says the people he met were definite about wanting to be British and feelings still run high in Argentina as this sign, which we spotted outside a military base shows:

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